We’ve known for some time that the top rung of General Motors is all in on electrification, a decision that has elated some and caused others to flee. Set to serve as the brand’s flagship is the Celestiq, a slinky fastback with an expected price tag north of a quarter million dollars.
What’s your take on the specter of a $300,000 Cadillac?
In yet another example of want-it-can’t-have-it from companies which sling cars on both sides of the pond, Honda has introduced a Limited Edition of its spellcheck-vexing ‘e’ all-electric city car. Appearing next to the machine is one Max Verstappen, who appears to somehow be standing on his own without support from ex-F1 race director Michael Masi.
Ford Motor Co. has decided to continue offloading Rivian stock, with the burgeoning electric vehicle manufacturer at roughly $24 per share. After divesting itself of 8 million shares earlier this month, Blue Oval sold another 7 million ahead of the weekend — leaving itself holding about 9.7 percent of the company.
With 86.9 million shares leftover from the sale, Ford remains a relevant stakeholder. However, investors are growing worried that the legacy manufacturer will continue dumping Rivian as a way of salvaging future losses. Ford, which previously owned some 102 million shares in Rivian, endured a massive $3.1-billion loss in its first quarter as the value of its investment in the company slumped. Worse still, investors are souring on tech and EV stocks in general.
Yesterday, we (and the rest of the Internet) brought you our drive impressions of the all-electric F-150 Lightning, putting it through its paces in a variety of typically trucky situations and finding it to be a largely familiar experience behind the wheel – albeit one powered solely by electricity. If part of the challenge in getting truck customers to make the jump to electric is convincing them the experience will not be totally alien, Ford’s approach with the Lightning will pay dividends.
Here’s the thing about most electric vehicles: That enormous battery deep within its frame can, with some creativity, be used for more than just shoving a 6,000+ pound pickup down the freeway. Ford has a few ideas – some of them slickly integrated into the truck and others costing thousands in expenditure to implement. Let’s dig in.
The words ‘all-new’ and ‘seismic shift’ are too frequently hurled around by those who peck their way around a keyboard between visits to shrimp-laden buffet tables. Still, when the country’s best-selling vehicle – the image of which is so closely tied to America that it might as well have a baseball hat and an apple pie in its glovebox – is fitted with an entirely new method of powering its way down the freeway and around job sites, even the j-j-jaded TTAC team will sit up and take interest.
Compared to other efforts in the electric pickup truck space, such as ridiculously angular examples loudly and annoyingly defended by fanbois jihads groups of rabid admirers, the Ford F-150 Lightning actually exists in vast numbers and is actively being cranked out of a factory near Detroit. There’s no shortage of vaporware in the EV truck segment, with numerous Barnum-like companies making grandiose promises amounting to naught, taking the hopes and cash of others down along with them.
With the F-150 Lightning, Ford is definitely *not* peddling vaporware. It’s here, it’s real, and we drove several examples last week in – where else? – Texas.
The fortunes of many are won and lost on America’s stock markets – or even on reports of share sales. Markets reacted this morning to a news report alleging Ford Motor Company is divesting itself of 8 million shares in Rivian, the latter being an EV startup with designs on producing the R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV.
In premarket trading, Rivian’s stock fell over 10 percent to just $25 per share, well off its 52-week high of nearly 180 bucks. Yeesh.
By now, save for only the least informed gearheads, almost everyone has heard Elon Musk has been successful, at least to this point, in his quest to buy Twitter. This development has caused no shortage of natterings in all corners of the internet, with tech blogs suddenly discovering the unpredictable and sometime unfathomable morass that is Musk’s social media presence. Auto journalists have been dealing with such issues for years.
One surprising result of the Twitter buyout? Henrik Fisker, boss of an EV company which ostensibly competes with Tesla, has packed up camp and disappeared.
The perpetual cycle of one-upmanship in the pickup truck game seems to be continuing at a breakneck pace into the electric era. The in-yer-face Ram brand, never one to shy away from bold or poke-the-bear marketing, let fly with a Twitter post touting their upcoming Ram EV – one day before the scheduled launch of the all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning.
Like it or not, electric vehicles are arriving en masse to the American car market. Chrysler hauled the wraps off its Airflow Concept at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January , appearing in typical ‘electric car white’ as part of its parent company’s wide-reaching EV Day presentations. Now, the brand’s stylists have slipped that car into a photo-inversion machine, showing in a black body color with copper accents.
Readers with long memories will recall General Motors and Honda shacked up back in the ‘90s for product sharing when the Big H found itself sans SUV and The General wanted a minivan for its Isuzu showrooms. Toss in an engine program which saw Honda V6 power under the hood of a Saturn Vue (of all things) and there’s no shortage of history between these two major marques.
That relationship now continues into the EV age. The companies have announced they will co-develop “affordable EVs” aimed at popular segments of our market. What’s the timeline? Don’t hold your breath – unless you can do so for about five years.
Taking a quick look around parking lots on this side of the pond, one would be forgiven for thinking the station wagon – longroof, avant, variant, shooting brake – is dead and buried. Pockets of (rabid) enthusiasts remain and are likely a large part of the reason Audi decided to sell the tremendous RS6 Avant.
The future is murky for a North American launch of this new all-electric concept, given our propensity for SUVs and crossovers. Nevertheless, we’ll take any opportunity to run photos of a slinky wagon – especially one that could slingshot from 0 – 60 mph in under four seconds.
GM is set to introduce more EVs to its fleet, announcing this morning that it will be stuffing a Blazer full of electrons and putting it on sale next year. Touted as the “first Chevy EV to feature a performance SS model”, GM says the all-electric Blazer SS will make its debut later this year and will be available in spring 2023.
With this news, we’ll sit back and wait for the B&B to discuss GM’s continued propensity to apply the SS badge in weird and wonderful ways.
If there’s one thing on which car manufacturers can be relied upon to do, it’s to release information about hotly anticipated vehicles in dribs and drabs. Rare is the occasion when all hands are totally surprised – though it does happen. Witness when the then-new Ford GT rolled out on a frigid Detroit stage in 2015.
Lexus is doing no such thing with its bevy of upcoming BEVs, a range that could include an all-electric spiritual replacement for the LFA.
The wave of all-electric pickups is well upon the market, with options on the table from non-traditional players like Rivian and Tesla plus legacy automakers like Ford and GM. The latter has trotted out a variety of rigs all based on their Ultium technology, while Dearborn has apparently been busy filling every order they care to take. Rivian trucks have also been spotted in the wild, which is more than what we can say for Tesla.
One brand notably absent from the EV table? Ram. While they’ve shown shadowy sketches and vague underpinnings of promised pickups, we’ve yet to see a fully-built take on what’s traditionally been the truck segment’s most in-yer-face competitor.
They’re apparently working on something, however – and are inviting potential customers along for the ride.
Viewed in a vacuum, especially through the filtered lens of an online picture, the Hyundai IONIQ 5 might appear to be a hatchback roughly the size of a VW Golf. In reality, it’s a lot more crossover-like inside and out, with the added bonus of seating flexibility that eliminates a space-hogging center console which creates a spiritual successor to the old-school bench seat.
There is a quartet of trims offered in our market, starting with the $39,700 SE Standard Range with its single motor and rear-wheel drive.